October marks the start of the exhibit season here in Rome. The best showings usually start in Fall and finish in January. The second “leg” of the art exhibit season begins in February and finishes in May or June. But the very best stuff is on display during the first part, Fall.
We can’t really say what’s the best exhibit running in Rome. It pretty much depends on what you are interested in. But we can tell you what’s up, so that you can choose what you like. It is no exageration that you could easily spend three days just hopping from one of these big exhibits to the other.
We will introduce you six of them. One hasn’t been inaugurated yet but will be open to the public on October 25. Of course we have our own preferences, but there is no hierarchy or priority order here.
After this spring’s exhibit of Soviet painter Deinecka, we can’t but suggest you to see the Soviet Realism painting (1920-1970) exhibit on show at Palazzo delle Esposizioni until January 8. You can’t see this stuff anywhere in Italy, let alone Rome, unless you actually go to the exhibit. And I guess you have to go straight to Russia to have a clear idea of the art of painting under the Soviet rule. Politics, propaganda, the constraints of a totalitarian regime, but also the vision of a new world are the most striking elements of artworks on display. Included in the ticket there is also a photo showing of Soviet era pictures by Aleksander Rodcenko, a very innovative and creative artist.
Let’s now make a very big jump from realism to abstract art. In those same years, elsewhere in Europe, free artists were experimenting new forms of art: abstract painting. Piet Mondrian‘s art works are on show at Complesso del Vittoriano until January 29: 70 paintings and drawings of ‘perfect harmony’. The exhibit will show you the evolution of the Dutch painter from naturalism to the colourful abstractism of his latest years. Only a few months ago MAXXI ran an exhibit of a Dutch architect/designer who was strongly affected by Mondrian’s ideas: Gerrit Rietveld.
If you prefer older stuff, then you can’t miss the two exhibits about Renaissance in Italy. Renaissance art in Rome is hidden by ancient Roman ruins and the Baroque churches, buildings and fountains, but you will also be able to see the art works of two of the most influential figures of Renaissance in Florence, the city where this movement originated from. Filippino Lippi and Sandro Botticelli are two of the most succesful painters of this golden age for Tuscany and Italy as a whole. Their works will be on display at Scuderie del Quirinale until January 15.
The other exhibit hasn’t started yet so we can’t tell you much about it, but the subject looks very interesting since it should shed a new light on how we see Rome. It will be about the changes in art, architecture and in the city’s structure during the 16th century mainly due to the figures of Michelangelo and Raffaello. Renaissance In Rome will be open to the public until February 12.
Going back to more recent Italian art developments. MAXXI is hosting a very interesting showing on the Arte Povera movement. A 1960s radical stance, unconventional in style and materials, free of social constraints that often made use of found objects to criticize the values of government and institutions. Works by Jannis Kounellis, Gilberto Zorio and Giuseppe Pennone will be on display until January 8.
Last but not least a US artist, Georgia O’Keeffe. Icon of 20th century art, this woman changed the course of painting with her vision of nature and architecture. More than 60 works from museums and private galleries will be on show on the backdrop of beautiful settings and reconstruction at Museo della Fondazione Roma until January 20.